As part of the Building Hope process of planning for the future of the diocese, Archbishop Farrell recently announced a Parish Partnership plan whereby all the parishes in the diocese would be asked to work in collaboration with their neighbours, sharing resources and working together in carrying out the mission of the church.
The partnership in this area will consist of the three parishes of Wicklow / Rathnew /Ashford / Glenealy and Kilbride / Barndarrig/ Brittas Bay.
What it means is that the priests of these three parishes are asked to work together with the Pastoral Councils and parishioners to work out the best way to share resources in order to ensure that we will be able to continue celebrate our faith through the liturgy and pass on the faith to future generations through evangelisation and preparation for the celebration of the sacraments.
Parishes are not being closed and are not being amalgamated. Each parish will retain its own identity with its own pastoral council and finance committee but we are asked to work together on joint projects such as preparation for sacraments, baptismal teams and funeral ministry teams.
With fewer priests available, there will be a need to revise the Mass schedule in the coming months. There will also be opportunities for parishioners to be trained to take on new roles so that we can truly work together in Building Hope for the future.
It is a time of great challenge but it is also a great opportunity for all of us who love the church and are committed to our faith to build something new and create hope for future generations.
The Wicklow Deanery Partnerships are :
1: Wicklow / Rathnew / Kilbride / Barndarrig / Brittas Bay / Ashford / Glenealy
2: Rathdrum / Roundwood / Glendalough
3: Arklow / Castletown / Avoca / Aughrim